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nd loans, to create thousands more california jobs. i'm barbara boxer and i approve this message because i want to see the words "made in america" again. on our broadcast tonight -- shockwaves through the gop. another establishment candidate loses to a tea party favorite, and what yet to come? the shakeup. everybody in the world of education is watching a powerful controversial reformer. tonight, her job is in deep jeopardy. an nbc news exclusive. the leader of iran, what he thinks about the fate of those jailed hikers and the controversial plan to put an islamic center near ground zero. holy grail. will there ever be a safe pill for weight loss? tonight, the fate of one that was supposed to be a block buster is hanging in the balance. and saying goodbye to edwin
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newman, whose brilliant career made us all better. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. if there is a lesson from last night, here it is. the tea party is for real, in case anyone had any doubts. and within the republican party, you could see some veteran politicians adjusting to that idea after watching a few establishment politicians go down to defeat last night. they were primary elections last night in a number of important places and races. the message of voter discontent, and the status quo, loud and clear. while that was last night's result, and november is something else entirely, lots of people awoke to a new political reality today. but there's a lot of that going around, starting in delaware where our own kelly o'donnell starts us off tonight. kelly, good evening. >> reporter: good evening,
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brian. tonight, democrats and tea party supporters are excited about the same big upset here, each believing it can help their separate causes. while republican officials are trying to figure out how to win with a candidate they did not want. up early to face a rash of national attention and new scrutiny. tea party conservative christine o'donnell's senate primary victory defied the republican party regulars who had openly mocked her. even today, no congratulations from her gop opponent. >> he won't endorse me. he said, she has governor palin, why does she need me? >> reporter: her family and friends pause for a prayer as she made the media rounds. >> thank you, thank you. that is an exciting night last night. >> reporter: tea party upsets like hers have triggered a republican party civil war. >> i am perplexed about what's going on with karl rove. >> reporter: karl rove insists
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republicans will lose the seat because she has said "nutty things." >> if he worked as hard for me as he is against me, then i have no doubt we can win. >> reporter: critics claim she's taken extreme positions on social and moral issues, advocating abstinence and saying that viewing pornography was like cheating on your spouse. >> that was a long time ago, i'm in my 40s now. i've matured in a lot of my positions. and a lot of the way i present my beliefs. i am a practicing catholic. >> reporter: democratic officials labeled her ultra right wing. too conservative for delaware. but vice president joe biden told msnbc's rachel madow democrats should not be overconfident about winning his old seat. >> i think in my state, this new republican candidate is going to have an awful lot of money. i think you're going to see it pouring in. >> reporter: analysts say delaware republican leaders were so focused on calculating a general election win, they misjudged the anger channeled by o'donnell.
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>> to simply shun a candidate who did win the republican endorsement in delaware i think is counterproductive toward that end. >> reporter: today, a sudden turn around as national gop officials warm to o'donnell and donated to her campaign. >> i look forward to electing christine the next senator from the state of delaware. >> reporter: in new hampshire, the tight senate gop primary wasn't over until this afternoon. endorsed by sarah palin and party officials narrowly overcame a more conservative activist. and new hampshire's democrat is race is an incumbent. because her win was so unexpected and she's never held office before, so many of her public views and comments and positions are just being fully vetted now. brian? >> kelly o'donnell starting us off from wilmington tonight. kelly, thanks.
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a few other big races to note here. here in new york state, another win for tea party supporters, carl paladino from buffalo, defeated rick lazio in the republican gubernatorial primary. also here in new york, charlie rangel won renomination to congress in his harlem district despite recent ethics problems. and in washington, d.c., voters have fired their mayor, adrian fenty, who has held that job for just three years. while it was just a city mayor's race, that washington election result last night was heard across the country by those who follow education reform. that's because the defeat of mayor fenty likely means the departure of a big reformer, the powerful, controversial michelle rooe, she's the chancellor of schools in d.c. this comes just as her profile is about to explode even bigger because of a new film called
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"waiting for superman." that premieres tonight in washington. something about timing. our own tom costello is there for us. tom, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. we're at the museum, waiting for "superman's" premiere. michelle rhee has been the national symbol on education reform and she admits she probably played a part in the mayor losing his job. so the question now, what happens to d.c. schools? for nearly four years, michelle rhee has been on a warpath. along with the mayor, overhauling a school district many regard as a national disgrace. with an on-time graduation rate of 49%, closing 26 schools, laying off 470 teachers, she called underperforming, and demanding accountability from those who remain. there are signs of slow improvement. in three years, math proficiency scores have gone from an abysmal 27% to 43%. reading proficiency from just 29% to 43%. still not good enough.
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>> the bottom line is, it's still only half of our children that are on grade level. slightly less actually. so when i look at how much still yet has to be done, it's still quite daunting. >> reporter: championed by education reform activists, she appears in the a new movie about the state of america's schools, "waiting for superman." >> you wake up every morning and you know that kids are getting a really crappy education right now. >> reporter: she alienated teachers, parents and many of the voters who turned the mayor out of office tuesday. educational analyst jack jennings -- >> i think she's smart and knows what she's doing. but she is a bull in a china shop. she's charging around without understanding this is politics. >> i make decisions as a mother. when i'm thinking about closing down a school, i think about it from the perspective of, is this a school i would feel comfortable having my own child in? >> reporter: she won't say whether she wants to stay in d.c. she's engaged to the sacramento
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mayor, kevin johnson. but today the man who will be washington's next mayor declined to say whether he wants rhee to stay. >> let me assure everybody also that we're not going to be turning back any clocks on school reform. we're going to be moving full speed ahead. >> reporter: michelle rhee says if she had to do it over again, she would probably communicate better. but says she has no regrets about any decisions she's made. >> tom, thanks. while we're on this subject, we want to let you know starting september 26th, nbc news and all the networks of nbc universal, including this broadcast, will shine a spotlight on education in america, with a huge gathering here in new york and a series of reports we're calling "education nation." and now to an nbc news exclusive. our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell was granted an exclusive interview today with iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad
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inside the presidential palace in tehran. they talked about a number of things, including the fate of the american hikers and the plan to build that islamic center in downtown manhattan. andrea with us again tonight from tehran. andrea, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. iran's president personally intervened to get sarah shourd released because of her medical problems. but when it came to the tough questions, tough details of subjects like the two other american hikers still in jail, and the international criticism today of iran's nuclear program, well, then he was defiant. iran's president mahmoud ahmadinejad wanted americans to know that sarah shourd had been released on compassionate grounds but the fate of shane shane bauer and their friend, josh fattal, still in jail, is up to iran's judiciary. >> translator: i think we should let the judge and the court
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decide about the case. i think this is the greatest help to all of them. >> reporter: iran's government has been encouraging protests all week in tehran, trying to exploit anger against the u.s. because of threats to burn the koran. and the opposition to the proposed islamic cultural center near ground zero. in our interview, president ahmadinejad seized the anti-muslim tension as a zionist conspiracy in america. >> translator: i should say there is no conflict between the two countries. we should find where the problem is. i ask this question -- do the people of the united states hate the muslims? is that so? that's not true. muslims do not hate americans, either. this has nothing to do with the people here. that has nothing to do with cultures. we believe that there is a minority in the united states, and they are zionists.
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they have no religion. they believe in no religion and they have no culture. >> there are jewish leaders working with muslim leaders working to build the muslim center in new york city. so there's no evidence of what you call zionist groups. in fact, fidel castro, your old friend, criticized you for your comments about israel. >> translator: i think you should allow me to talk and speak. i think you should finish first, and then you should let me explain. okay, you can continue to talk. okay, let me answer. the people are against that ugly behavior. they are not against the people of the united states.
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they are not against americans. they are not against jews. they are not against christians or christianity. >> reporter: he suggested that so-called zionists are stopping president obama from improving relations with iran. >> translator: maybe president obama wants to do something. but there are pressures -- pressure groups in the united states who do not allow him to do so. even if he wants to do something, apparently there are certain groups who do not allow him to do it. >> reporter: you're suggesting that president obama doesn't have -- doesn't have the -- as commander in chief and leader of the united states does not have the decision making power over what he does? >> translator: do you really think president obama can do anything he wishes to? he does not say so even. there are different political groups and more important, there are zionists there. we say if he wants to do
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something, there are certain groups who do not allow him to do so. >> reporter: president ahmadinejad rejected today's demands by the u.n. nuclear watch dog agency to let inspectors back into those suspected nuclear sites in iran. he said he would not let that happen, but senior u.s. officials tell me that if he continues to defy the u.n. on this, that could lead to a major confrontation with the u.s. brian? >> andrea mitchell there today in tehran. andrea, thanks. when our broadcast continues in a moment, will the fda take one of the few remaining diet drugs off the market? and later, remembering one of the greats. the wise, witty, and wonderful mr. newman of nbc news.
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it is the holy grail of the drug industry, they say.
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an effective, safe pill for weight loss. but it still doesn't exist, and fda advisory panel today took a good, hard look at a diet drug that's been on the market for a long time and half the panel members said this one, like many before it, should be taken off the market. we get our report on this tonight from our chief science correspondent robert bazell. >> reporter: meridia is one of only two weight loss medications available by prescription. and it's been on the market for 13 years. but a recent study of 9,000 people over six years raised serious concerns. on average, subjects lost only five pounds and experienced a 16% increase in heart attacks and strokes. the problems follow a long string of diet drugs causing health problems. >> our arsenal is minimal. we have two drugs that we can use, that we can prescribe. >> reporter: despite the failures, drug companies are trying to develop dozens of new medications for a market that could bring in billions a year.
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but it is a tough challenge. >> when you're dealing with something as profoundly basic as the organism's desire to consume food, it's not all that likely that we're going to be able to find one drug that is able to go to exactly the appetite center and zap it, and not do anything else. >> the risk greatly exceeds the benefit. >> reporter: the fda panel's advice, to pull the diet drug off the market or restrict it, is a huge disappointment to janet gebhart. she says meridia helped her on a program to lose a lot of weight. >> i understand people have concerned about the health risks, but at the same time, there are lots of drugs that people have concerns about. >> reporter: lately, attention has turned to two newly approved devices which use lasers or freeze fat cells to contour the body at a cost up to $3,000. another approach but no magic bullet for weight loss. robert bazell, nbc news, new
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york. when we come back, another health issue. the latest place where we're told the bed bugs are biting in this country.
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there's word tonight that the white house will not nominate consumer advocate and wall street critic elizabeth warren to head the new consumer protection agency that was created by that big financial reform bill. instead, warren, who is a former harvard professor, will be given a job at the treasury department, where she will help launch the new agency. consumer groups, labor unions have been calling for her to head the new agency. opposition from wall street led some congressional democrats to say she could not get confirmed by the senate. take a look at this picture. scary sight in louisiana's plaquemines parish, a massive fish skill. the water was so thick with fish it looks like a gravel road.
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and it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that the bp oil spill must be to blame for this. but believe it or not, the state department of fisheries say no. scientists say when the tide went out, it created a pool just two feet deep. fish were trapped. all the oxygen was depleted. they suffocated. experts say these kinds of mass kills are not uncommon in that area this time of year. huge landmarks have been reached in american higher education. more women than men in this country earned ph.d.s as of the last academic year. the margin is small but part of a steady trend, although in some disciplines, like engineering, math, computer sciences, women earning ph.d.s are a distinct minority behind men. confirming the worst fears of those of us who are parents of college students during this year of the bed bug outbreak, two more colleges reporting them. these are in the carolinas. cataba and wake forest.
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these are in the carolinas. they reported closing dorms, emptying them out for decontamination after the discovery of bed bugs. when we come back, remembering a family member who was watched by millions of americans.
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tonight, we are forced to say goodbye to a long-time and beloved member of our nbc news family. the veteran newsman edwin newman, he did it right, starting in radio during world war ii, then on television with nbc for more than 30 years, right up until his retirement. he wasn't known for his bombast or volume or his opinions but for his way with words. it made him one of the very best of all-time. >> my name is ed newman and i'm one of nbc's london correspondents. >> he was part of everything at nbc news for over three decades. the good and the bad. >> president johnson has declared this a national day of mourning. >> when it good bad, it was good to have edwin newman's calming presence on the air. as it was during the coverage of the assassinations that marked our times. >> the lives of all of us of today have been profoundly changed. >> president kennedy, senator kennedy and martin luther king,
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jr. and the attempt on ronald reagan's life. >> the president was shot and wounded in the left side of his chest. >> he reported from all over the world but he understood home the best. he explained who we were in numerous documentaries and political coverage. he was one of the first to serve as a convention floor correspondent and he moderated two presidential debates. >> the first question will go to governor carter. >> we watched him on "today" and "meet the press" and huntley brinkley, the forerunner of "nightly news." he conducted countless interviews over the decades, including the first and only televised conversation with japanese emperor hiro hito. he was a serious guy that never took himself too seriously. he had a great sense of humor and he used it, in cameo roles and as the newsman on "letterman" when dave was on nbc. >> here is mr. news, ed newman.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, edwin newman! >> and there was that famous appearance as host of "saturday night live" back in 1984. ♪ please don't talk about me when i'm gone ♪ >> he could carry a tune as well. and we're violating ed's wishes in that song by talking about him, but we're going to go on here to something very important. it was words he loved, because he loved the language. he looked after it so well. he was a guardian of the english language, both written and spoken. he corrected grammar wherever he found it being misused or mistreated, in our newsroom or in public. and he wrote two best sellers on the topic. and he showed the way for the generations that came up behind him. he was living in england when he died at the age of 91. for us, that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we sure hope to see you back
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here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- governor schwarzenegger tours the san bruno neighborhood burned down by a pipeline explosion. as we hear accusations that pg&e raised money to fix the pipe but never did. good evening, i'm tom sinkovitz. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. it was a somber homecoming today for people who lived in that blast zone. they were allowed to finally go back into what's left of their homes to try to collect anything

NBC Nightly News
NBC September 15, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

News/Business. The latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 5, Washington 4, United States 4, Edwin Newman 4, America 4, Tehran 4, Delaware 4, New York 4, Obama 3, U.s. 3, Michelle Rhee 3, Brian 3, Kennedy 2, Robert Bazell 2, Sarah Shourd 2, Newman 2, Nbc News 2, Fda 2, Carolinas 2, U.n. 2
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